UNCASVILLE, Conn. “Draft Day” It’s a dream come true for Natalie Achonwa.
The 6-foot-3 Notre Dame forward and once the youngest member of the Canadian Senior Women’s National team (2002) was drafted ninth overall by the Indiana Fever at the 2014 WNBA Draft capping off a glorious collegiate career with the Irish and starting a new chapter after she tore her ACL just minutes before the Irish clinched a spot in the 2014 Final Four and eventually coming short in the National Championship game to eventual national champions UCONN Huskies.
The Canadian and first international player (foreign) in 37-year with the Irish she improved her play each year, and stamped her name across a number of the schools all-time records including becoming only the 29th player in the reach the 1000+ point club and earning her way to podium to shake the commissioner’s hand and, for a quick and well deserved moment forgetting about that ACL injury that ended her NCAA career.
“I actually planned it out exactly how I was going to get up, who I was going to hug first, but as soon I heard my name called I started tearing up and a literally just popped right up and I’m going to feel it in the morning because I forgot how to walk up the stairs, I was really excited.” Achonwa described the special moment backstage.
“The last couple of weeks I have literally hit every single emotion possible with the injury and then going to the Final Four, there was some much going on and it never really sat in until I was walking up the stage. I’m just really excited that Indiana took a change on me and drafted me injured.”
The selection marks the first time two Canadian female players have been selected in the first-round as Edmonton’s Michelle Plouffe was also drafted 19th overall by the Settle Storm becoming the first Edmonton based player ever to reach the WNBA.
It looks like the Canadian Invasion is also starting to hit the WNBA ranks. From Stacy Dales to Tammy Sutton-Brown to now Achonwa & Michelle Plouffe and the next ones in line. (Nirra Fields.)
Maybe we can get Drake to drop a few bars on about Achonwa and the Canadian takeover on his next web release. #DraftDay
Stacey Dales-Schuman is the highest Canadian drafted in the league’s history when the Washington Mystics selected here with the third-overall pick and Tammy Sutton, selected the 18th overall in 2001 is the only Canadian to be selected as a league All-Star. Kayla Alexander (Syracuse Orange) of Milton, Ontario was selected 8th overall in the 2013 draft.
The 2014 WNBA season tips on May 16.